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SACC seminar: Building a better business district

SPRINGVILLE — In a presentation by Western New York Deputy Director of Empire State Development Michael Ball, tools and incentives were discussed on how to get businesses and tourism into the Springville area

The April 16 presentation looked into tourism in the WNY region, citing that there are nearly 12 million visitors to WNY parks each year, who contribute $2.2 billion to the regional economy. The trick, according to Ball, is getting the visitors to stay longer, thus contributing more money to the region.

“It would be wise for us as a region to invest in the waterfront,” Ball said. “Tourism is happening county by county, we just need to regionalize it.”

From a business perspective, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Empire State Development group are rolling out initiatives and tax breaks, in order to bring more businesses to the state and the region. StartUPNY, Cuomo’s initiative to create tax-free communities for small businesses on State University of New York campuses across the state, and Excelsior Tax Credit, a credit of up to $5,000 per new job to cover a portion of the payroll, were both discussed.

“There are more tools than we’ve ever had before,” Ball said. “At least at the state level.”

The issue facing Springville now, is how to use those tools. Mayor William Krebs explained that the village is updating their master plan which will help outline the goals and strategies for Springville. Once an outline is formatted, the next step is to speak with Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, a regional economic development group, Ball said.

Buffalo Niagara Enterprise provides assistance to businesses looking to come to the WNY region and promotes region-wide economic development. Pairing with them would give Springville a spot on the development radar, for businesses looking to grow in the region.

“Assemble your own little tool kit, think through your process,” Ball said. “You’re doing the right thing, by saying we need to get out there.”

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